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Broncos training camp brings the hope of a new season

The big questions are all the same. Can the answers be different?

The anti-climactic end of the Aaron Rodgers saga sets Broncos Country squarely at the start of training camp. Obviously, there will be a QB battle in Denver. And again, we will head into the start of the Denver Broncos season with the hope that it will all work out.

When Ian St. Clair and I sat down to record the MHR Radio Podcast, I couldn’t help but think back to the first season of Ted Lasso. As the AFC Richmond supporters were wont to say, it’s the hope that kills you.

We hoped that Paxton Lynch would be the QBOTF, and that Mark Sanchez could be his bridge. We hoped Trevor Siemien really did have the “arm of the gods”. Case Keenum, anyone? Joe Flacco? And now, Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater.

And we find ourselves, at the start of training camp, saying all the things we have said the previous five seasons. If the defense can be great, the offense doesn’t have to be that good. Just, yikes.

So here’s a stat that caught me off guard as we discussed how the Broncos defense could carry Denver to a playoff birth this season. In 2020, the Broncos had exactly zero defensive touchdowns. Not a single pick-6, or a scoop and score. Nothing. As good as the defense was, and it was good, they just couldn’t generate what the offense truly needed, turnovers and points.

I’m not blaming the defense for the Broncos struggles in 2020. In fact, the whole conversation around Denver is about how the defense can carry them. However, if the Broncos are -16 in turnover ration, like they were in 2020, don’t look for a lot of checkmarks in the wins column.

Heading into training camp, there is a clear mission for the Broncos. Find the right QB. Teddy or Drew. Rely on the offensive line, which has the makings of a great group, and the running game. Turnovers. Generate them, and score off of them.

The camp battles will be fun. Who comes out on top, who breaks through, who falters. That’s the drama of the summer for Vic Fangio’s team. In the end, can all three phases be good enough to deliver Broncos Country from the depths of the AFC West to a playoff run?

I hope so.